A to Z Challenge: Day One – “A”

“A” is for April Adventures

I recently decided to take the plunge and join the A to Z Blogging Challenge. By taking part in this event, bloggers agree to post every day in April, except for the final four Sundays. On Day One, we use the letter ‘A’ as our writing prompt, Day Two we use letter B and so on.

This Blogging Challenge was initiated in 2010, by Arlee Bird. One-hundred bloggers joined Arlee that year. In 2016, this event included 1344 participants.

Why in the world would anyone choose to blog every day, especially with the added ‘A to Z twist’? The reasons vary from blogger to blogger. Here are mine:

1. What I wanted to read when I was considering retirement.

After I announced that I was retiring, many people thought that I was crazy. Well-meaning warnings of how bored and lonely I would become were frequent. Out came the horror stories. Like the one about my hairdresser’s friend who retired from a stimulating career simply to drive to the grocery store, unpack his groceries and arrange them on his pantry shelves….as the highlight of his days! With this challenge, I have the opportunity to provide a month-long, daily sample of retirement that (hopefully) offers an entirely different picture than that of my hairdresser’s friend.

2. You get what you focus upon.

As I begin to enter my third year of retirement, I want to ensure that I continue to shake things up, try new things and not just stick with what I already do and know. Anticipating this challenge has already made me search online to discover upcoming events and happenings in our community. Perfect!

3. A fitting way to wrap up my Guest Post Series.

Thank you to all who have contributed to/followed my ‘Sundays at Six Guest Post Series’ for the past ten months. This series will wrap up on Sunday, April 22. I am grateful for all who have so generously shared their experiences and expertise regarding retirement, creative lifestyle and/or travel. This has offered a much broader picture than I could have provided on my own. I have learned a great deal and hope that you have too!

4. Testing my endurance.

Marathoners run, Spelling Bee Champions spell…and they love to test their endurance. The same goes with writers and bloggers. Do I have what it takes? We’ll soon find out!

5. Being true to my word.

The subtitle of my blog promises “New Chapters, New Discoveries and New Adventures.” This challenge provides the perfect lens to ensure that I stay true to this commitment.

6. Connecting, and staying connected, with others.

It is no secret that I LOVE writing. The thing that keeps me blogging, is the people that I connect with in this corner of the writing world. I love when a post stimulates engaging discussion. I continue to be surprised when someone ‘in real life’ says “I read your blog today.” What better way to connect with who’s ‘out there’ than by putting myself ‘out there’ too?

My plan, she says with confidence, is to post each evening this month about adventures encountered that day. This makes it impossible for me to complete my posts in advance. (Why do I ALWAYS chose to do things the hard way?!) I’d love for you to drop by and check out what’s happening with my April Adventures, and share what’s happening with your own. And if you have any suggestions for adventures that you would like me to include, that would be awesome…especially if they start with Q (for Day 17) or Z (for Day 26)!

Happy Easter everyone! And a very happy birthday to our oldest son, Shea!

This is not an April Fools post. 🙂

adventure
Eldest son, Shea, and Grandson, Charlie on April 1, 2018.

82 Replies to “A to Z Challenge: Day One – “A””

    1. HI, Janis – I seriously need to ask myself why I always choose to do things the hard way — even in retirement!! You are right – trying to match up my adventure of the day, with a preassigned letter of the day, is an extra challenge. For example, Richard and I are going to watch our youngest son take part in the Boston Marathon….but that takes place on ‘Day N” (instead of ‘Day B’ or ‘Day M’). I can already see that I will need to be extra creative to survive this challenge!

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  1. Good on you Donna! Will look forward to your daily writings…..”Q” well you could check into quilting…maybe a show somewhere on the island? Quit something that you have been wanting to stop and have not got around to it! Or just have a quiet day reading! My choice😍

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  2. I think an adventure per day is a good goal, no matter how big or small. And it is good to record them so you can see if you accomplished your goals. Just like tracking your steps. But more importantly it validates all the small adventures as an event worth noting. And at the end you can look back and see all the fun things you did.
    Ann

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  3. So many of my own reasons resonate with yours. I love the idea of training myself to write each day, which then only happens if I learn something new each day with my theme. But the reason I came back this year is 100% for the amazing blogger community I remember from last year. ❤

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    1. Hi, Jess – Thank you for stopping by. It is only Day 1 (at least here in BC) and I am already experiencing the ‘amazing blogging community’ that caused you to come back for another year. I am off to read your post now!

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  4. Hi Donna – I love that you give your reasons for writing during this A-Z challenge. All of your reasons make great sense to me. In fact the only statement you made that had me gulping was that you’ll be writing in the evenings after doing the adventure that day. I’m having palpitations just writing that. Good luck!

    For Q, how about getting Richard to send you off on a quest for something? I’m sure that he (and you) could have some fun with that!

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    1. Hi, Karen – Great advice regarding the letter Q! Thank you for suggesting that. I share your palpitations about creating a structure that necessitates me writing “on the day of”. Reason #7 (that I accidentally omitted above) is to help reduce my tendency to ‘overedit’. I’m ready for the adventures to begin….and am prepared to rethink/readjust where necessary. Thank you for following–I greatly appreciate it!

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    1. Hi, Jill – Thank you so much for your vote of confidence. I greatly appreciate it. I decided from the start of this challenge that I would allow myself to ‘gently bend’ guidelines if need be. Today’s post was easy to write — only 25 left to go! 🙂

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  5. You are brave writing each day after the event. I am trying to think what my day’s entry would be – staining the wooden steps, eating hot cross buns, getting tissues all over the jeans wash. Hardly exciting but part of life.

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    1. Hi, Linda – I am already wondering if my ‘A to Z Plan’ was brave or simply foolish!:) If I wasn’t already hooked on your Ancestry posts, I would LOVE to read about eating hot-cross buns…and the tissue explosion in your wash. I do already have many activities, and some travel, planned for this month. Hopefully, each day will bring something of interest to write. Please stay tuned!

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    2. I am so impressed that you are replying to all the comments as well as doing your daily post. Now I’m going to look at mine again, or should I just read their blogs and comment on them? Then of course I have to follow up the interesting people who have commented on your post. Aaaargh! I still have to research some of my posts and haven’t come up with U or Y yet.

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      1. Hi, Linda –
        I don’t think that there is a right or wrong way to approach writing/commenting for the ‘A to Z Challenge’. At least I hope that there isn’t — otherwise, I’m toast!
        BTW – Do ‘Upbringing’ , ‘Year of Discovery’ or ‘Youth’ work?

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    1. Hi, Molly – Your encouragement is greatly appreciated. I want to ensure that I spend my time on adventure — and not spending ALL of my time this month writing. It will be a challenge for sure! Thank you for staying tuned.

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  6. Great start to AtoZ Donna and I’m so pleased you have joined up. I always enjoy your posts but AtoZ certainly brings a certain spring in the step so to speak as we challenge our writing skills and ideas. Looking forward to your adventures in April and what ‘B’ will bring tomorrow. xx

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    1. Hi, Sue – Thank you again for your kind and encouraging words. I am looking forward to the challenge (while still being a bit anxious about what I have gotten myself into). I also need to get my head around the different time zones – as I am at least twenty-four hours away from my B post. I am off to read your ‘B’ entry now!

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  7. Hi Donna, Good luck. The pressure of a post a day. However they don’t have to be long. A short well worded post is a good one in my book.

    I am sure you will find something to write about each day and look forward to reading what you find with reference to the community in point 2. Gorgeous photo at the end.
    Louise

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  8. Wow Donna, to signup for the A-Z challenge is one thing but to actually do it each day is taking it to the extreme! Most people I know plan it all out and schedule, schedule, schedule!! I take my hat off to you for your bravery and sense of adventure and I look forward to reading your daily posts. This post answered a lot of my questions about the whole challenge history and rules, so thanks for always being so informative in your posts. All the best to you my bloggy friend 😊

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    1. Thanks, Debbie – Writing and scheduling these posts ahead of time makes total sense to me…now! Hindsight is always a great teacher. I have fastened up my seatbelt and am ready for the ride! I will also make modifications along the way whenever it makes sense to do so. Thank you for your support and kind words. They are greatly appreciated!

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  9. You’re a brave woman, Donna. I have a hard enough time thinking what I want to eat every day! Looking forward to checking in as much as possible and seeing, ‘er, making that READING what you’ve written. That’s an awfully cute photo of you son and grandson.

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  10. All your points are excellent reasons for doing the A-to-Z.

    The first year I did the April Challenge, I was winging it every morning on whatever struck my fancy. In some ways, your approach to write about your day after the fact sounds easier. This is something you can have a lot of fun with!

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    1. Hi, Joanne – I love your positive attitude, and your encouragement. As I’ve mentioned to other commenters, I can already see a couple things that I may need to ‘tweak’. But I am still happy with my topic choice…and am ready for the fun to begin. I hope that you’ll come along for some of the ride!

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  11. Great reasons to write your A to Z challenge, Donna, and you’re already off to a very good start. I look forward to reading your upcoming posts as much as possible.

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  12. Well! I was worried that coming to the Challenge later in the evening would impact on your views – obviously not (judging by all the comments!) Your theme sounds so interesting and you are incredibly brave leaving it til the last minute to write each post – I could never even contemplate that! Looking forward to following along with your adventures x

    Leanne | http://www.crestingthehill.com.au
    B for Believe in Yourself

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    1. Thanks, Leanne – As I mentioned to a few others, I am not sure if my plan was the result of bravery or simply an error in judgement! 🙂 I agree that posting late in the day may prove to be problematic (especially as I am in a later time zone). As soon as I have enough to write about, and the time to write it, I will go with that. Not sure if that will solve the issue completely — but hopefully it will help. I may also write a bit and publish and then add a bit more and update as the day unfolds. I don’t see that as extra work, but simply breaking it up into chunks. This would also give different readers, different experiences, which could be cool! Please stay tuned!

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  13. Hi Donna, Wow, that is quite a commitment! I’m not sure I could do that – retirement keeps me busier than when I was working. I’ll try to check in as often as I can. Best of luck to you, I have no doubt you will accomplish this goal.

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    1. Hi, Karen – I definitely can understand the ‘busy’ part. I have a retired friend who announced recently that she needed to go back to work. She startled us for a moment…until she said that she was simply “too busy in retirement to keep up the pace”. We all laughed — but her words are so true!

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  14. I am not sure I could write every day for a month even with the help of the alphabet. lol I also tend to not do postings in advance just write about what comes to mind.

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    1. Hi, Victoria – I have a tendency to do just about everything in advance…even when it is counterproductive to do so! Hopefully, one result of this challenge will be to thwart that tendency a bit. I find your writing to be very inspiring!

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  15. Oh My. I can barely write one post a week nor can I post on the day I’ve told myself to. 26 days of writing and posting that day and then everything on a “designated letter”… you are truly super-woman!

    I hope to catch them all… your’s and many others… but that in itself might be a challenge! Best wishes for a fun adventurous month.

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    1. But I cheated completely with not having to create a post for each topic. Maybe next year…..

      Oh you asked for more ideas for E and R: E – eating out! my fave – try a new Ethnic Restaurant. Which works for R as well. Also, Reading something new, Relaxing to the Rain on the Roof (if that happens on the R day, quite possible in April!).

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  16. I can’t believe your guest post series has been going for ten months. Wow!!

    Good for you to join the A to Z Challenge, Donna! That will keep you entertained and on the tip of your toes. I hope you haven’t much else planned in April. 🙂

    I joined once and enjoyed it, but the time commitment was incredible. Like you, I didn’t plan or write my posts ahead of time, but I did make a list of the alphabet and the word/title of what to write about each day. Finding, editing, captioning and integrating photos was time intensive as well. Good luck!

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    1. Hi, Liesbet – I do actually have other things planned in April….hopefully the daily blogging won’t cancel them out! 🙂 I was planning to write in the evenings, but so far, late mornings have worked out. I know that I won’t be able to keep this up for long ….unless I only write about ‘morning adventures’….or ‘day old’ ones!

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  17. Good luck with this challenge, Donna. I’ve never been brave enough to participate in it because I felt it would put me under a lot of pressure to have to write every day during one month. Maybe you can prove me wrong? I’m counting on you.
    As for Q – how about writing about the people you see in a queue, or maybe Q can be for questions you were asked or asked? Now that you are retired do you queue less because you can visit busy places when you like?
    Z could be about a dream you had and what it meant? I’m thinking, here, about those ‘Zs’ you see coming out of somebodies head as they sleep.😴Do you sleep more now that you’re retired? Have your dreams changed since you retired?
    I look forward to reading your posts for the challenge.

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    1. Hi, Hugh – Thank you so much for the suggestions…you are brilliant at this! If you ever do decide to join the challenge, there are tons of ways to participate without writing every day. Many people write all of their posts ahead of time. They then spend their time blog hopping. So far, my experience is that the A to Z Community is very warm, inviting and generous. I’ve met several wonderful new-to-me bloggers already!

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      1. Thanks for the heads-up on the A-Z blogging community, Donna. I’ve never been able to write more than a couple of posts ahead of time, but it’s good to know that there are ways to participate without having to write every day. That would certainly take the pressure off me.
        Enjoy the rest of the challenge. I look forward to seeing what you come up with for Q and Z.

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  18. You are a better woman than I! I have been having a hard time getting any posts up at all recently! Can’t imagine doing an entire alphabet worth in a short time! But I’m certainly going to enjoy blog hopping and reading the works of the community! ~ Lynn

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    1. Hi, Lynn – Writing and the posting each day has been an exhilarating ride so far! There are many great people writing and/or commenting. Participating has pushed me out of my typical ‘blogging comfort’ zone and has given me the confidence to try new things. I greatly appreciate you stopping by. Please don’t miss Day 4 (D) — you are featured there!

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  19. I guess you have all the right reasons to sign up for the blogathon! I sign up with the hope that I will post regularly but I am not to what extent I have succeeded!! Happy AtoZ!

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    1. Hi, Dee – I totally understanding that the A – Z posts can overwhelm anyone’s inbox. We are now officially half way through “Day Off today, Day ‘N’ tomorrow). Thank you for your comments on Charlie. I agree that he is adorable!

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  20. I have been seeing lots of things popping up about the A to Z challenge! I can’t wait to give it a try next year. Good luck with your challenge this year and may your cup overfloweth with thoughts and ideas! Thank you for sharing with us at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty.

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